Monday, September 17, 2012

little details

I've spent the last two days working on an old-fashioned dress for Camille to wear for her play.  The pattern I'm using (Folkwear 213:  Child's Prairie Dress) is full of little details.  The collar and yoke alone have seven separate fabric pieces.

The play is set in the 1930s in Appalachia, so I'm shortening it and adding a belt to make it less of a pioneer dress.
attaching the yoke to the gathered front, side, and back panels

in process

music to sew by

dart and slit in sleeve

gathering

pressing cuffs


I spent years sewing without patterns, making flow-y, patchwork-y creations, but when it comes to all of these little old-fashioned details, I wouldn't know where to begin without specific directions.

I think much of life-learning is like that, exploring, creating freely, and using other people's help and tutorials when desired.  We don't need to be locked into one set way of doing things or floundering around re-inventing the wheel either.

The little details in life help to create our larger experience of it.  A few days ago I was blog surfing and leaving a comment on Ingi's blog Defying Gravity.  Camille came up just then.  Interested in what she saw, she climbed into my lap on the computer chair, big girl that she is, and we followed links, admired photos, and had a great discussion about our brains' perception, math, art, and spatial reasoning.  This little moment led to..... 
 fun with graph paper

and later creating hand-drawn nonograms for me to solve (Thanks, Ingi :)

In the little, seemingly insignificant, details our lives are created, enriched, and nourished.  Whether I come upon Sylvia patiently teaching Ayla to play mikado (and how to master the tricky 2-year-old skill of taking turns), or see Camille snuggled in my bed reading aloud to her little sisters, or hear Ayla's sweet, "tahnk you, all my heart," when I hand her a glass of milk, I pay attention to these little moments.  They can carry me through the harder, less-idyllic moments when my patience is tested and my negotiation skills fall short.
These little people in my life help me learn about grace.  They hold up a mirror to my highlights and my lowlights.  They hold me accountable for my little details and share theirs with me.  I am grateful for that.

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